ETF Welcomes Platform Work Directive with a Call for Vigilant Enforcement

13 Dec 2023

The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) is cautiously optimistic about the provisional agreement on the Platform Work Directive, marking a potentially pivotal moment in the fight for the rights of millions of gig economy workers. In solidarity with the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), ETF welcome what we hope will be a major advancement in correcting the long-standing misclassification of platform workers. However, we still need see the final text once agreed by all parties.

The directive, once agreed and implemented, will potentially introduce critical changes to protect platform workers:

  • Reversal of Burden of Proof: Obligating platforms to prove the absence of an employment relationship.
  • Mandatory Workplace Inspections: Ensuring compliance through inspections when just one worker is reclassified.
  • Algorithm Management: Preventing the use of algorithms for anti-union activities and ending robo-firing.
  • Enhanced Role of Collective Bargaining: Strengthening the influence of trade unions in the platform economy.

While the ETF welcomes these developments, Livia Spera, General Secretary of the ETF, emphasizes the need for a thorough review of final text and robust enforcement:

“This agreement may become a landmark achievement in our ongoing struggle for workers’ rights. However, its true impact depends on the wording of the final text and on effective enforcement at the national level. The full details of the text needs to finalized. While not going as far as the EP proposal, this is certainly a considerable improvement on Council proposal. The Council still need to confirm their mandate on this provisional agreement.

We have seen too often that without diligent implementation and oversight, even the strongest policies fail to protect those they are meant to. We urge Member States to not only adopt this directive but to commit to its rigorous, unrelenting enforcement. Our platform workers deserve a working environment where their rights are not just recognized on paper but are actively upheld in practice.”